When to Replace a Serpentine Belt

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How long does a serpentine belt last? Because they are made of strong rubber material, most serpentine belts (or drive belts/accessory drive belts) can last as many as 50,000 to 100,000 miles. Heat and friction will cause them to deteriorate as time goes on, so it is likely that you will eventually need a replacement. If you notice any of the signs that it may be time for a new serpentine belt, set up an appointment at Reeves Volkswagen. Read on to learn more about when to replace a serpentine belt!

What Does a Serpentine Belt Do?

The drive belt is a long, winding belt that sends power to the alternator, power steering pump, water pump, and air conditioning system. To ensure these systems are working properly and in tandem, the serpentine belt must remain in good condition. If the drive belt is starting to show some signs of wear and tear, it is best to replace it as soon as possible. Below we have included some of the warning signs to look out for.

Signs Your Serpentine Belt Should Be Replaced

Serpentine belts can start to peel, crack, slip, or fray because of prolonged exposure to friction and heat. If you notice any of the following red flags, it is due for a replacement:

  • Squealing Noises: Strange noises indicate belt stretching or low tension, or the belt and pulley are not connected as they should be.
    Wear and Tear: A visual inspection may reveal cracks or uneven wear on the belt.
  • Systems Failure: If the power steering and/or air conditioning fail, you will need to replace the serpentine belt as soon as possible.
  • Complete Breakdown: Total belt failure results in a breakdown, which can be extremely dangerous for you and others on Wesley Chapel roads. Keeping an eye on the condition of your serpentine belt can help to prevent this.

What is a Belt Tensioner?

Modern drive belts feature self-controlled belt tensioners. Belt tensioners utilize an internal spring and pulley system. The system engages the right amount of tension on the serpentine belt to minimize the chance of damage or breakage. Belt tensioners also ensure that the belt stays in the proper position. Loose belts can cause the power steering, cooling system, and engine to stop running. It is a good idea to also replace the belt tensioner if you are replacing the serpentine belt.

Choose Reeves Volkswagen for Affordable Belt Service

If you want to know more about when to replace a serpentine belt and the associated costs, you can reach out to the service department at Reeves Volkswagen. We would be glad to answer any questions that you may have.

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